Gaultheria procumbens - Pyrola Minor
Wintergreen herb is apt to invoke images of relief from muscle aches or the refreshing mint taste of wintergreen, popular in flavoring gum, toothpaste, candy and birch beer.
Native Americans crushed wintergreen leaves in poultices for treating sore muscles, joint aches, and arthritis. Such poultices also eased rashes, inflammations, swellings, and wounds – even toothaches. Internally, wintergreen tea was used to ease fever, a sore throat, an upset stomach, ulcers and gonorrhea symptoms.
Wintergreen herb is a low-growing, perennial shrub.
Wintergreen typically grows to 4-6 inches, or 10-15cm tall.
Wintergreen is an evergreen, meaning its glossy, elliptical to oval leaves retain their green color throughout the cold winter months.
Wintergreen plants prefer to grow in the acid soil found on the forest floor of pine or hardwood forests.
Wintergreen spreads through its long, shallow-growing rhizomes which are found in the top 8-12 inches of soil.